composting cat litter

(Zone 4b)

We have 3 wooden composters (each about 14 cu feet in volume)

Our family uses the corn based "World's Best Cat Litter"

We only do perennial gardening ie no edibles.

So under these circumstances can cat urine and feces mixed with this corn based cat litter be successfully composted?

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Looking at their website, I would guess "yes", you can compost it. They say the litter is 100% corn, so the litter should compost OK.

However, contact with cat feces is somewhat dangerous to humans.

I suggest not running your hands through the compost or the soil - I've read in many places that cat poop contains long-lived oocysts that can infect humans with a serious disease. Use gloves. If you know that dumping a litter box is going to produce dust from dried cat poop, avoid breathing it if you can.

I live with the fact that neighborhood cats poop in my vegetable beds. I haven't been able to keep them completely out, and I worry about that. But I haven't given up growing vegetables. I HAVE given up using bare hands on the soil. The first time my fingers ran into a "gift" from a cat that hadn't broken down yet, I decided that gloves were worthwhile.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I'm a bit more skeevy about cat waste since reading publicity some months ago about how persistent this is.

Decatur, GA

One way to keep cats out of your garden beds is to use chicken wire. Lay the wire on the ground and cats won't dig. Cats are finicky about walking on some things. Its not that convenient but it sure works. It might be worth the hassle to use it for awhile to redirect the cats to somewhere else to do their bathroom business. I put it in a perennial garden and it stopped the cat from digging around. Cats like routines so once they get another toilet area established it will probably take awhile before they return to your garden, if they ever do.

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